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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I am sure I will turn a few heads and tick some people off by giving The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald only 4 stars. It is probably due to me being a spoiled attention deficit reader who is used to authors and movie directors trying to grab my attention tightly so I will not let go, but this moved a little slow for me. I know the general message Fitzgerald intended to convey, but to me this novel centered around the petty problems of the rich elite of his age and focused mostly on them having long conversations complaining about this or that while continuing with their selfish lifestyles.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Genre:  Literary

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Released:  1925

Stars:  4 Stars

Reviewer: Michael D. Griffiths

I am sure I will turn a few heads and tick some people off by giving The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald only 4 stars. It is probably due to me being a spoiled attention deficit reader who is used to authors and movie directors trying to grab my attention tightly so I will not let go, but this moved a little slow for me. I know the general message Fitzgerald intended to convey, but to me this novel centered around the petty problems of the rich elite of his age and focused mostly on them having long conversations complaining about this or that while continuing with their selfish lifestyles.

I also know the reader is supposed to learn from these older novels by placing themselves within a different time full of ideas and paradigms unfamiliar to our current culture and principles. Fitzgerald wrote this novel to take a deeper look into the American Dream. Can one go from rags to riches and get all the material goods they desire, but still not reach their true needs? Does the drive for capital and the success of obtaining it spill over into being a winner in all the other aspects of life we prize? Can a man work hard, do everything right, and become rich, yet still be a loser in life? As the Beatles said 40 years later, “Money can’t buy you love.”

This is the story of the Great Gatsby who worked for years to have the capital to impress his lost love who was already married to another. He felt he had earned his big house and his hard work meant he also deserved to possess the person he wanted. Hard work builds character, and you might be able to buy a new car, but you cannot buy the life you may wish to lead. In the end money is just paper and not much help if you feel miserable and alone. Who is the real winner in life, the rich man whose kids refuse to talk to him or the poor man who is beloved by his family and community?

The American Dream might help you have a better house, but there is no guarantee it can buy you a better life.

Again, this is a fine book and a quick read. Insight into the lifestyles of Americans during the roaring 20s is also interesting, even if we only follow the threads of the elite. I am not sure it has the impact on the reader it once held, however. I know Fitzgerald is ten times the author I could ever be and the book drives home some interesting points, but it still would not be the first American Classic I would recommend for a youngster to read.

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F. Scott Fitzgerald

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